Online visitors to Discover Newport can now access the newly installed Book Direct Search Engine, through a partnership between the agency and JackRabbit Systems Inc. The search engine allows visitors to compare local rates and availability and select lodging throughout Newport and Bristol counties. According to the latest American Hotel & Lodging/Smith Travel Research Study, about 81 percent of all hotel rooms are booked through direct channels, said Kathryn Farrington, vice president of marketing at Discover Newport.
"It allows travelers to our website, mobile site and Facebook page to book directly with no additional fees or commissions, bypassing online booking fees,” she said. “It's particularly beneficial to our smaller properties as it provides a free reservation engine without having to work with a third party."
Lodging partners can also access real time analytics and detailed data reports, she said. It also allows users to use loyalty points and membership discounts based on the direct reservation and relationship with the lodgings, she said. Check out www.DiscoverNewport.org for more information.